Forecasters had a difficult time predicting the front that moved through Grundy County Monday, February 16. Over the weekend, snow estimates ranged from three to six feet, with dangerous winds and ice. However, by Monday morning, it became clear that the mountain would be on the line demarking snow and rain. By the end of the day, rain and icing was the biggest problem experienced by area residents.
Problems occurred overnight Monday as roads, trees, and power lines iced over. By Tuesday morning, side roads were treacherous, many covered in a solid sheet of ice. Main roads were worked by the Tennessee Department of Transportation and were clear.
A State of Emergency (Level III) was issued at 9:00 p.m. Monday night, allowing for the deployment of extra resources to aid stranded motorists, address power outages, and open emergency shelters. The State of Emergency remained in place through Tuesday as officials waited to see if weather conditions worsened, as predicted.
Widespread power outages in Coalmont and surrounding areas were experienced on Sunday evening in front of the storm. On Monday evening, only one power outage, causing approximately 450 people in the Beersheba Springs and Altamont area to lose power, was reported.
Eight emergency shelters were opened across the state. The Red Cross opened a shelter in Monteagle at the 911 Center, staffed by Red Cross Volunteers Thomas Myers and Robert Tapley of Chattanooga.
The shelter offered overnight accommodations and meals to anyone undergoing power outages or in need of a place to stay during the night. Myers said that the shelter would remain open as long as there was a need for services.
It does not look like Grundy County will get any relief in the week ahead. Temperatures could reach negative numbers as more ice and snow head into the area.